Tony Parker made his NBA debut in 2001, both he and I were 19 years old. Now, 2 years into his “Award Tour”, Parker has become the classic veteran addition that some young teams covet to get them over the hump. Based on a story from a French Newspaper, Parker is rumoured to have interest in playing for the Nuggets. It’s a possible match from several angles. The Nuggets need a back up point guard, they need leadership and mentorship to their young core. They also need a guy who can come over for one year at the right price.
The right price is critical for this to happen. The Nuggets, as of this morning, traded the long serving Wilson Chandler and a pick to the 76ers to get their team salary closer to the luxury tax threshold. If Parker is indeed interested, money cannot be the reason. There could be another salary dump trade looming. Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur are also prime candidates to be moved.
If Parker thinks that he can come in and mentor Jamal Murray the Nuggets would welcome his expertise. Both players are similar in one way: they are both scoring point guards. Naturally Parker’s killer instinct could rub off on Murray, who appears ready to step into a more prominent role this season. Parker’s highest career average is 22.0 points per game in the 2008 season. He has also won 4 championships and been named a finals MVP in 2007. He’s also had one of this greatest coaches ever mentor him since he was 19.
The team needs a back up point guard to spell Murray and also play along side him. I think Coach Malone might want to do more of this. Murray playing the wing, running and gunning. He isn’t Curry by any stretch, but he has the ability and intelligence to come off of screens to shoot or create. He’ll know when to call Murray’s number. Having a Tony Parker in your line up allows you to do this.
As much as he was a great scorer in his prime, Parker is used to setting up great 2’s; Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Derek Anderson and Michael Finley to name a few. This could potentially lead to bump in Murray’s scoring average and will also alleviate a bit of the pressure on his 21 year old shoulders.
Murray could benefit the most from this move. It will allow him to do what he is built to do…score.